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Improving the intercultural and higher order thinking skills of L2 learners through CBL and collaborative online international learning (COIL)
Trilling and Fadel (2009) emphasized the importance of 21st-century skills. The 3Rs (Reading, 'Riting, 'Rithmetic) and 7C’s (Critical thinking, Communication, Collaboration, Creativity, Career and learning self-reliance, Cross-cultural understanding, Computing and ICT literacy) have been particularly important. However, the 8Cs should now be emphasized in L2 pedagogy with the addition of ‘coexistence with AI.’ In this presentation, the results of two case studies focusing on Collaborative Online International Learning (COIL) and Challenge-Based Learning (CBL) will be presented. Case study 1 included Japanese students from Aoyama Gakuin University (AGU) and Waseda University in Tokyo (n=196) and was implemented online from May 2020 to January 2021 using Zoom, as well as the SNS programs Facebook and Line for added support. Pedagogical training focused on helping students find solutions to many issues now faced in the 21st century such as global warming and human rights. Throughout the online program, training in higher-order thinking skills was emphasized. The second case study (n=38), also COIL-based, was conducted from October 2020 to November 2020. A total of 19 AGU students and 19 National University of Singapore (NUS) students participated in a joint seminar conducted using Zoom. In both case studies, students delivered final presentations which were evaluated using the PeerEval software. Students greatly benefited from the language and cultural exchanges and provided positive feedback on their 8-week virtual seminar experiences. Finally, the results of a survey that was disseminated twice to participants of both case studies (in July 2020 and January 2021, respectively) will be presented. The survey focused on gauging students’ opinions about their online virtual learning experiences during COVID-19. Some of the notable survey results included: (1) 70% of students felt the online classes improved their speaking skills; (2) 80% of students felt the international exchange positively impacted their intercultural communication skills; (3) 65% of students felt PeerEval was effective; and (4) although students preferred online English classes, they used the Internet in Japanese outside of the classroom. These results would seem to suggest that COIL and CBL can be effective in providing ample opportunities for students to use English regularly and improve their higher-order thinking skills.
I retired from full-time position at Aoyama Gakuin University. I am a Professor Emeritus at AGU and a visiting professor. I am currently teaching part-time at Waseda University and Tokyo Institute of Technology. I have been a visiting researcher at AIST in Tsukuba since 2006.
Interests include CALL, pronunciation, L2 speech learning